A systematic review and meta-analyses on the prevalence of pregnancy outcomes in migraine treated patients: a contribution from the IMI2 ConcePTION project

J Neurol. 2022 Feb;269(2):742-749. doi: 10.1007/s00415-021-10534-5. Epub 2021 Apr 1.


The present study aims to summarize the safety profile of the medications used to treat migraine during pregnancy by performing a systematic review and meta-analyses. The term "migrain*" combined with pregnancy terms were used to search Embase, PubMed, PsychInfo, Scopus, and Web of Science through 31 December 2020. Pooled prevalences of untreated and treated migraine patients were estimated using MetaXL software. Pooled odds ratios (OR) using random effects models were estimated in RevMan 5. All the identified studies assessed medications used to treat acute migraine. The pooled prevalence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in patients prescribed any migraine medication ranged from 0.4% (95% CI 0.2-0.7%) for stillbirth to 12.0% (95%CI 7.8-16.9%) for spontaneous abortions. Among untreated patients with migraine, the pooled prevalence of the assessed pregnancy outcomes ranged from 0.6% (95% CI: 0-1.7%) for stillbirth to 10.4% (95% CI: 8.9-12%) for gestational age < 37 weeks. Given the limited data, it was only possible to perform OR meta-analyses for triptans. The adjusted ORs for triptan users compared the general population were: for major malformations 1.07 (95%CI: 0.83-1.39, p = 0.60); birth weight < 2500g 1.18 (95%CI: 0.94-1.48, p = 0.16); gestational age < 37 weeks 1.49 (95% CI: 0.37-6.08, p = 0.58). In conclusion, triptans do not appear to increase the risk of pregnancy outcomes when compared to the general population. It was not possible to assess other migraine medications. Further studies are needed to investigate the safety of individual medications of acute and prophylactic migraine treatment among pregnant women.

Keywords: Migraine; Migraine treatment; Pregnancy outcome; Preterm birth; Spontaneous abortions.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Migraine Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Migraine Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Prevalence